The United Arab Emirates government has made it easy for foreigners who need to seek medical treatment in the UAE to obtain a medical treatment visa, also known as a Patient Entry Permit. Along with the medical treatment visa, the UAE authorities also issue a Patient Companion Entry Permit for the UAE.
The UAE has a relatively new boosting economy. As such, the hospitals there are more modern than a lot of those in the West. This, coupled with government-led initiatives to facilitate the process of obtaining a visa, it has led to a rise in the number of medical tourists which the UAE has received in recent years.
UAE hospitals offer an array of medical and cosmetic surgeries in their private and public sector hospitals and medical facility complexes.
Foreigners wishing to receive medical treatment in the UAE, and who are from visa-required countries, have to get a Patient Entry Permit from one of the visa-issuing authorities in the UAE.
How Can I Get a UAE Medical Treatment Visa?
You do not have to visit a UAE embassy or consulate in your country in order to get a Medical Treatment Visa. As with all other types of visas for the UAE, it is your sponsor (ie. the hospital where you will receive medical treatment) that’s in charge of arranging your visa/patient entry permit. To be allowed to sponsor your visit, the hospital has to be licensed and registered in the UAE.
Your sponsor applies through one of the visa-issuing authorities in the UAE.
Applying for a Medical Visa for Dubai
To get you a patient entry permit for Dubai, your sponsor applies through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai.
Applying for a Medical Visa for Abu Dhabi and the other Emirates
If you will receive medical treatment in a hospital in Abu Dhabi, or another of UAE’s seven emirates, then your sponsor applies for the visa through the eChanel platforms of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).
What Documents Do I Need for a UAE Medical Treatment Visa?
The documents which are required when you apply for a Medical Treatment Visa for the UAE include:
- A copy of your passport
- A letter from your hospital explaining the reason behind your visit
- Proof of financial solvency
- Proof of your medical insurance that covers your entire stay in the UAE
What is the Validity of a UAE Patient Entry Permit?
A medical treatment visa (UAE Patient Entry Permit) allows the holder to remain in the country for a period of up to 90 days, from the day of entry. Once the visa is issued, you have to enter the UAE within 60 days.
There are two types of UAE Patient Entry Permits:
- Single-entry, which allows the holder to only enter the UAE once and stay for a maximum of 90 days
- Multiple-entry, which allows the holder multiple entries in the UAE for up to 90 days
Can you Extend a UAE Patient Entry Permit?
Yes, you can. Your sponsor can apply to extend your UAE Patient Entry Permit only once and only if they can provide proof you need further medical treatment (ie. a certified medical report).
UAE Patient Companion Entry Permit
If you are accompanying a patient who needs medical assistance in the UAE, you must have a UAE Patient Companion Entry Permit. It is the hospital that applies for your entry permit as well.
Additionally, you and the patient have to enter the country together.
To apply for a UAE Patient Companion Entry Permit, your sponsor submits:
- Photocopies of your passport
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of financial solvency
What is the Validity of a Patient Companion Entry Permit?
The validity of a Patient Companion Entry Permit is the same as for a Medical Visa/Patient Entry Permit: It must be used within 60 days, and once you enter the country, you can remain for up to 90 days.
The visa can be issued for single-, or multiple-entries and can be extended only once, provided that the patient really needs further treatment as well as you presence in the country.
Who Needs to Get a UAE Medical Treatment Visa/Patient Companion Entry Permit?
Because the UAE Medical Treatment Visa and the Patient Companion Visa are simply entry permits (not Residence Visas), nationals of certain countries are allowed to enter visa-free or they can obtain a visa on arrival. The UAE government allows nationals of the following countries visa-free travel for short periods of time.
Visa-free stay for up to 180 days
Nationals of Mexico may enter the UEA without a visa for up to 180 days.
Visa-free stay for up to 90 days
Nationals of the following countries may enter the UAE without a visa for up to 90 days within any 180 day period:
- EU member states (excluding the UK and Ireland)
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Nationals of the following countries may enter the UAE without a visa for up to 90 days.
- Solomon Islands
Visa-free stay for up to 30 days
Nationals of the following countries may enter the UAE without a visa for up to 30 days:
Eligible for UAE Visa On Arrival
Citizens of the countries listed below may obtain a UAE Visa On Arrival, valid for either 30 or 90 days, depending on the country:
- Andorra (valid for 30 days)
- Australia (valid for 30 days)
- Bahamas (valid for 90 days)
- Brunei (valid for 30 days)
- Canada (valid for 30 days)
- Costa Rica (valid for 90 days)
- El Salvador (valid for 90 days)
- Hong Kong (valid for 30 days)
- Ireland (valid for 30 days)
- Kazakhstan (valid for 30 days)
- Malaysia (valid for 30 days)
- Maldives (valid for 90 days)
- Mauritius (valid for 30 days)
- Monaco (valid for 30 days)
- Mongolia (valid for 30 days)
- New Zealand (valid for 30 days)
- San Marino (valid for 30 days)
- Singapore (valid for 30 days)
- South Korea (valid for 90 days)
- United Kingdom (valid for 30 days)
- United States (valid for 30 days)
- Vatican City (valid for 30 days)
Nationals of the following countries (other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council) have freedom of movement and may enter the UAE with simply their passport or ID:
- Saudi Arabia
Non-native residents of GCC countries are not exempt from UAE visas, but they can apply through a facilitated online process if they’re traveling with a GCC national.
There is some conflicting information online in regards to whether certain nationals are allowed to travel visa-free or not, namely Grenada, the Solomon Islands, Nauru, Liberia, and Mongolia.